The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum is offering an opportunity for education and experience for tomorrow’s workforce. The Zoo has internship opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a career in Animal Care and Zoo Management. The intern program is designed to help applicants determine if a career with animals is right for you. It also offers valuable experience to those who are planning to apply to vet school or looking to pursue a job in the animal care field. You will learn, hands on, all the husbandry techniques that it takes to care for the animals at the zoo. You will be given the opportunity to gain valuable skills, on-the-job training and experience that will be a great asset to you in the future as you continue to pursue your career. Some of the areas interns will get instruction include but are not limited to: cleaning, feeding, making diets, basic maintenance of areas, safety, and record keeping as well as the basics of Operant Conditioning Animal Training, and enrichment. Interns will have the opportunity to do an enrichment based project to increase their knowledge of one of the species that they work. Interns will also attend several classes during the program to further increase their knowledge about all aspects of zoo keeping and animal care.
Please note: All internships are unpaid and housing is the responsibility of the individual.
If you are a student, due to the considerable differences between the end dates for semester and quarter-system schools, the start dates for the summer session will vary greatly depending on when your school year ends. Whether you start at the beginning or the end of that time frame, you will still get the same program experience.
There are three intern sessions available in 2015:
Six – Eight spots are available for each session.
Download and complete the Great Plains Zoo Volunteer Application. Please attach a cover letter explaining why you are applying (limit 500 words), and a résumé. Submit your entire application packet via email or mail to: Leigh Spencer, Great Plains Zoo Volunteer Program, 805 S. Kiwanis Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Lspencer@gpzoo.org
After we receive an application packet we will review the information, contact applicants for an interview, decide which applicants best match our current needs and then determine which animal routine they will be placed at. Candidates selected for the program will receive an acceptance email. Once an applicant is accepted in the program, proof of a negative tuberculosis test (within the last year) as well as a tetanus shot (within the last seven years) will need to be provided. These items must be turned in before you start volunteering with the Animal Care Department. Final acceptance is dependent upon a background check. All housing and transportation costs are the responsibility of the intern.